Hello -- Happy Equinox
The First Day of Fall, 2007.
Please allow me to introduce myself.
To do this properly, I must give some background. My Father was an Officer in the Signal Corps, stationed in Alaska in the Korean War times. I do not know his assignments, as secrecy was such an obsessive thing with him, that it would be hard to express. He was trained and proficient in numerous ways of killing an opponent. He passed enough of this knowledge on to me, that as a small child, I was quite confident, at 8 or 9 years old, of my ability of killing any single adversary, of any size or age, or any group, unless they (the group) were really, really focused. I never had fear that a human could actually do me severe harm, unless I allowed it.
However, I had no way to deal with the crap that children put up with in the day-to-day of school, and after school interactions. And I was a nerd. I got into alot of fights. And as I tried to go to sleep after the shit, all that would run through my head was all the various ways I could have killed the little guy. Frustrating, to say the least.
Harold Long Sensei opened an Isshinryu dojo, with a branch in Midtown. And my Father, seeing my limitations, took me there. I was not a good student. I did not take rank -- I did learn, however.
In later years, I returned to Harold Long Sensei's dojo in Knoxville with my brother, Clinton. I learned more, but still did not take rank. My brother Clinton, however, did take rank under Harold Long Sensei, and before that, and after, he proved himself a valiant warrior, in tournaments and the real world.
I make no excuses for failing to take rank in Isshinryu. I am just giving my background. I always had this simple problem: I know how to kill the guy, and Sensei is showing me how to beat the crap out of him -- but I just want to keep him from hurting me, without having to kill him or doing permanent damage.
As I grew older (and larger), I found that the willingness to fight, in its self, diffused most problems. If not, the techniques of Isshinryu suffice for most situations.
But what of the situations of one's opponent not understanding one's readiness, or multiple opponents, and one still doesn't want to open up with the Glock, so to speak?
What of the situation of the mentally disturbed person who must be restrained?
When I was in the oriental grocery in Seattle, 25 years ago, I came across The Book of Five Rings. The invincibility found in the Void was clearly articulated, and I have had no doubts of personal victory since. But to be certain of victory without the death of the opponent remains elusive.
This is the attraction of Aikido to me.
To disarm a swordsman is the thing. Taking a gun away is dangerous, but nothing compared to the edged weapon at close quarters. O-Sensei understood this. Bring the poor idiot into harmony. Bring one's self into harmony.
Thanks for letting me post.